In 14 illustrations, a girl suffering from Rheumatoid Arthritis narrates her story

In 14 illustrations, a girl suffering from Rheumatoid Arthritis narrates her story

Graphic designer Antima Nahar is suffering from Rheumatoid Arthritis, a chronic disorder affecting many joints, including those in the hands and feet.

Antima Nahar is a graphic designer and illustrator who works under the name AntzDoodles. She ran a boutique design studio Antsatwork till she had to go on sabbatical after being diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis. While undergoing an exhaustive treatment process in God's Own Country, Antima found a creative outlet in the character of Stripey, who went on the journey with her. Here's a look at the journey they shared, in Antima's own words.
Hi, I’m Antima and I can’t spell Rheumatoid Arthritis. I am happy not to, but since I am on war with – well! We’ll call it RA - Three years ago, RA appeared in my world and turned it upside down. Pain became my new constant – excruciating and paralyzing pain – pain that wouldn’t let me work, exercise, eat or even open a door sometimes. But life doesn’t stop for pain, and, neither did I. My pain became my inspiration and the war, my story. (Source:@antzdoodles)

Instead of going the allopathic way with many side effects, I took the less trodden path of alternative therapies. Acupuncture was my first stop and the needles soon became my allies!

Another bizarre home remedy required me to dip my hands and feet at the same time in a bucket of hot and cold water everyday. This seemingly boring activity soon turned into my chanting time. Multi tasking re-defined!

There are two categories of food for me – food that makes my body feel better and food that makes my heart sing. So chocolate, pani puri or a little piece of pickle became a part of my happy cheat sheet.

From being someone who was active, social and out there, I am now someone who has to think before lifting my fork.

I know I am way too young to have it. And I also know that your mother in law/grandmom/uncle has it. It does not help me feel any younger or healthier hearing that. But thank you for your concern. I appreciate it.

For two months I had to eat only Lauki and Pumpkin. So the big decision each day was be to choose how to have it - boiled, baked, raw or steamed!! If you didn’t find lauki in the market in those days, my sincere apologies.

My days are divided between very bad days, bad days and slightly bad days. But in each of those days there are still moments of joy. Thank you RA – for teaching me how to live in the moment.

And then there are happy days. Completely pain free, normal and just happy. On such days, you can see my smile from mars!

Have you tried… The three dreaded words. Trust me I have tried all the treatments you can think of and a few that you hopefully never have to think of. I had to quit my full time job to keep up. For real!

Somehow any food that was even remotely tasty was on the avoid list. I mean why could samosa not have the benefits of lauki. I could eat a samosa every day no...

The one thing that bothers me the most is not being able to do things with my hands. Being a creative person this is super frustrating.

I may not be able to shake your hand but I can still draw and for me that is V-I-C-T-O-R-Y!

It has been three years dotted with hope and disappointment, pain and progress and the fight continues. RA, you can slow me down – but slow and steady wins the race remember!